In an unexpected move, Warner Bros. announced today that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1" will only be released in 2-D in both conventional and IMAX theaters. The studio had previously planned on converting "Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1" to 3-D in time for its highly anticipated November opening.
In a statement, the studio said, "we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality. We do not want to disappoint fans who have long-anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey, and to that end, we are releasing our film day-and-date on November 19, 2010 as planned. We, in alignment with our filmmakers, believe this is the best course to take in order to ensure that our audiences enjoy the consummate 'Harry Potter' experience."
“For 10 years, we have worked alongside Alan Horn and the studio, whose priority has always been to preserve the integrity of Jo Rowling’s books as we have adapted them to the screen, and this decision reflects that commitment," producer David Heyman noted.
Director David Yates also was quoted as saying, “This decision, which we completely support, underscores the fact that Warner Bros. has always put quality first.”
This is an impressive turn of events for Warner Bros. after the slew of criticism it received following the quick conversion of "Clash of the Titans" last winter. While that blockbuster grossed $493 million worldwide, it may have damaged goodwill for what is potentially a shaky franchise for the studio.
At this point, Warner Bros. still plans on releasing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2" in 3-D. That film won't open until July 15, 2011.
The biggest beneficiary of this news is DreamWorks Animation's "Megamind" which will no doubt keep more 3-D theaters because of the change in "Potter's" opening.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1" opens nationwide and in IMAX on Nov. 19.